A top-notch keynote speaker for 2018 DNR Roundtable, and the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame announces its 2018 inductees

The Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota announced this week that it will enshrine three individuals and two organizations in 2018.

New inductees in the Individual Legends category include outdoor writer, photographer and filmmaker Mark Strand, Director of Field Promotions for Rapala USA Mark Fisher, plus legendary Rainy Lake guide Billy Dougherty. The Gapen Company and Minn Kota will join the ranks of Legendary Organizations.

The Hall of Fame annually recognizes up to three individuals and two groups or organizations that have made a major impact on Minnesota’s sport fishing industry.

Individuals must be a state resident, have lived in Minnesota for a minimum of 25 years, be at least 50 years of age, and have made meritorious contributions to the sport of fishing. Businesses and organizations may also be nominated, provided they are registered in Minnesota and have made similar noteworthy contributions to fishing.

Per a release this week from the Hall:

“Mark Strand has written for nearly every outdoor magazine, including many years as a regular contributor to In-Fisherman, Fishing Facts, and other publications. He’s amassed thousands of freelance magazine credits; developed, produced and hosted two nationally-syndicated radio programs and five podcasts. He has authored or co-authored 13 books.

“In his decades-long drive for offering the best as a tournament angler, TV-personality, and radio host, Mark Fisher has brought incredible success both personally and for those he represents. ‘Exposure is the best preparation for opportunity! Whatever your strong suit is, whether it’s painting lures, writing stories, giving seminars or engineering boats, put those skills to use,’ he says.

“William ‘Billy’ Dougherty’s career as a legendary guide on Rainy Lake includes his youthful 1965-1975 stint at his grandparents’ Kettle Falls Hotel, plus his work at Rainy Lake Houseboats from 1985 to the present. Billy’s multi-species angling expertise has been featured by In-Fisherman TV, Babe Winkelman’s Good Fishing, and Backroads with Ron and Raven. Billy Dougherty proudly notes that 2018 marks the centennial of his family’s deep involvement with fishing-related tourism on Rainy Lake.

“Among the Legendary Organizations, Minn Kota – established in 1934 – has served as an industry leader in the trolling category. The company has led the way in product innovation and cutting-edge technology from day one, when O.G. Schmidt first strapped a propeller to a starter motor from a Model A. Since then, the company has continued to lead the way in innovation with trolling motor accessories, GPS-enabled motors, battery chargers, and electro-mechanical shallow water anchors.

“The Gapen Tackle Company, a Minnesota firm for 62 years, got its main start when Don Gapen created the Muddler Fly in 1936. The fly has become the largest-selling Trout fly in the world.”

The Hall says official enshrinement coincides with the Northwest Sportshow and is planned for Friday, March 23, 2018 near the Minneapolis Convention Center. For details, visit www.fishinghalloffamemn.com.

BHA president visits next week

In my print column last week, I mentioned that Land Tawney will be visiting Minnesota next month as keynote speaker of the 2018 Minnesota DNR Roundtable. Tawney is president and CEO of Missoula, Mont.-based Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The roundtable is scheduled Jan. 5 in Bloomington.

Land Tawney will be visiting Minnesota next month as keynote speaker of the 2018 Minnesota DNR Roundtable. Tawney is president and CEO of Missoula, Mont.-based Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

A board member from the Minnesota chapter of BHA, Mark Norquist, confirmed with me this week that Tawney will be attending a reception the night before, Thursday, Jan. 4 (6 p.m.), at Unmapped Brewing in Minnetonka. They’re calling it BHA “Pint Night” and all are invited, including current members and anyone else interested in learning more about BHA.

Check out the Minnesota chapter’s Facebook page here for more details. I’ll be attending and expect a healthy, energized crowd of this growing national organization’s local membership. Coincidentally, check out Joe Albert’s profile of Minnesota BHA on Page 19 of this week’s print edition of Outdoor News.

Finally, BHA also announced last week that they’ve hired Jason Meekhof as the organization’s new Great Lakes Chapter Coordinator. Meekhof has been the chapter chair in Michigan and has helped grow the chapter and membership over the past few years. He’ll start with the group on Jan. 8.

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